Short-tail keywords, also called “head terms,” are broad search terms that usually have between one and three words and cover a wide range of topics. Most of the time, more people search for short-tail keywords than long-tail keywords, which means that they get more website visitors.
Even though head terms can bring in a lot of traffic, it’s not always the best traffic because it’s a generic search that may not meet the user’s needs for your product or service.
This can lead to low conversion rates and a higher rate of people leaving your site without buying anything. Short-tail keywords are also much more competitive, which makes it harder to rank for them, especially if your site has a low domain authority.
It’s important to remember that keywords are only one of many things that affect how well your site ranks. That’s why it’s important to come up with an SEO plan that covers everything.
How Are Long-tail Keywords Different From Short-tail Keywords?
So, to sum up, the main difference between long-tail and short-tail keywords is that short-tail keywords get more searches, are more general and competitive, and usually have lower conversion rates.
Long-tail keywords, on the other hand, tend to have fewer searches, to be more specific, to be less competitive, and to have higher conversion rates. In fact, 3-5% more people click on search results that use long-tail keywords.
How Do You Find Short and Long-tail Keywords?
Make a list of all the many ways you could search for the services and goods you sell on your website before you do anything else. Let’s use the running shoes illustration one more.
Various phrases, like running shoes, trainers, sports shoes, spikes, etc., could be used by someone searching for running trainers online. Additionally, you’ll need to focus on more specialized terms that are less crowded, such as long-distance trainers, short-distance trainers, trainers for high arches, etc.
Location is another important factor to consider. If you market to certain geographic regions, you can use location-specific keywords to target a more specialized audience, such as running trainers UK.
You can also get help from a number of useful tools, many of which are free. Here are some examples:
- Google Adwords Planner is a good place to start if you want to find keyword ideas and opportunities to rank higher. Here, you can find out how your site is doing for certain search terms, or you can spy on your competitors to find out what words you might be able to rank for.
- Google Search Console tells you how well your site does for certain search terms and how people find your site. This lets you see which pages are getting clicked on, which you can use to shape your keyword strategy and optimize the right pages.
- Google’s Autocomplete Tool: Use Google’s Autocomplete Tool to see what other terms people are searching for. To do this, type your main service or product into the search bar, leave a space, and see what Google comes up with.
- People Also Ask: Google’s “People Also Ask” section is a good place to see what other people are searching for and what kinds of questions they might be asking.
- Google’s Related Searches: Look at the Related Searches section of Google to see what other search terms you can optimize for. This is often at the bottom of the page with the search results.
- AnswerThePublic is a keyword tool that uses “search clouds” to show how search queries and the autocomplete tool are used. They are like mind maps, but they are for words. Long-tail keywords that are based on questions, like “What are the best running shoes?” or “Why do you need spikes for track?,” are easy to come up with with this tool.
- SEMrush: SEMrush is a top-of-the-line SEO tool that lets you do in-depth research on keywords. The platform finds relevant keywords that get a lot of searches and shows how hard it is to rank for those keywords. You can also filter keywords based on these factors to make sure that the terms suggested are relevant to your business and are likely to be used.
Should I Use Keywords With Long or Short Tails?
As a business, you need to decide which terms are most important for your website and your ideal customer. After all, no one knows more about your business than you do.
But when it comes to making your keyword strategy and choosing the right long-term and short-term keywords, we always suggest getting help from experts.
Our SEO experts can help you navigate the ever-changing search landscape and find keywords that are realistic and have a chance of ranking, while getting rid of keywords that aren’t realistic or aren’t relevant. A good keyword strategy can set you up for success in the long run.